To Humanize your brand is a no longer an option, it’s business life or death.

Every customer, partner, employee, and social media follower is a human being. Each person connects with, relates to, and forms trusting relationships with other humans. This is why providing names and faces to exhibit how your brand is more than a money-making machine is extremely important. If a company excels at tying their brand back to the people behind it, you can bet potential clients are more likely to entrust their business.  By drawing attention to a personable face, the brand becomes much more relatable and memorable to the target audience.

Because people trust other people more than they do brands, all you need to do is make your brand seem a little bit more like a person. Here are five useful strategies to help you humanize your content.

Stop Relying on Scheduled Social Media Posts

Social media scheduling services are a great marketing automation tool because they take some of the pressure off. Allowing for the drafting and planning of posts in advance can boost the creativity and quality of your content. It is certainly a relief to never have to worry about dead space or empty news feeds, but as with all good things… moderation. Relying on automated posts can put distance between the content and your audience. Even the most casual, clever, and personal messages can quickly become outdated and unlike computers, people notice. Using an automated tool for posting is a great way to get ahead, but in addition a savvy marketer will use the human ability to react and respond in the moment. Real time engagement and live interaction helps humanize your brand, and your audience will certainly recognize and appreciate the difference. Committing to a combination of live and planned posts will show the consumer you are dedicated to quality and actively listening for their feedback.

Share Photos and Videos of Your Team Being Human

Impromptu sharing is one of the best ways to humanize your brand. Share the moments that you are human, even if they’re embarrassing! Keep an eye out for the next corporate party or team building hike, these events are the perfect marketing photo op. Photos and videos of the team hanging out and having a blast together can become powerful marketing tools. Some of the best content to humanize a brand is considered un-important and in turn, not shared. Even a shot of a team member brainstorming at the white board during the Monday morning meeting lets the world in on what is typically behind closed doors. Let your company culture and collective vision do the work to humanize the content on your website. Having photos of you living your vision can really back up your credibility. People are often curious about what employees do at other companies, so show real photos of real people doing real things.  It’s amazing how these simple little shares of your personal side will help build relationship with your audience and clients.

Build, Optimize, and Humanize  a Blog

No matter the industry, a blog is a tried and true method for getting the intended message across. Choosing interesting and relatable topics will drive people to the site and bring them closer to becoming a valued customer. Creating and optimizing quality content for your brand is considered valuable to most consumers. To humanize the nature of the blog it is helpful to identify the voice of the company, and speak person to person. Content written by employees from each department on their specific expertise will give credibility to their unique talents and your company’s competence as a whole. In addition to blogs, creating and publishing content via whitepapers, webinars, and podcasts are excellent ways to create awareness for your brand and increase qualified leads.

Engage in Conversations

To interact with your social audience on a meaningful level, is the best way humanize your brand.  Consumers want to be heard when they raise a question or concern.  Responding quickly and thoroughly shows the personable dedication of your company.  Initiate conversations by asking audiences what they like and what they want to see next.  If someone likes a post or photo, thank them for checking it out. If you see your audience members commenting on an external thread, jump into the discussion! This confirms that you’re paying attention, and that you care about more than just one side of the conversation. The more engagement, the more likely your company will be seen as a trustworthy, personal brand.

Many brands get caught up in seeing social media as a platform on which they can promote their products and services to a relevant audience. While this is true, it’s best to keep it equal. Don’t make the mistake of driving followers away with constant promotional noise. Far too often brands take the opportunity to send messages out into the world, but don’t stop to engage the consumers. Take pride in reputation and always take the time to respond to Facebook messages, comments on LinkedIn, tweets and any other messages received.

Incorporate Humor

Humor has a primal way of connecting people. When we laugh together, we tear down walls and bond with each other. When you make an audience laugh, it shows that your company doesn’t take life too seriously and your team enjoys humor just like everyone else.  A marketer doesn’t  have to be a comedian, but try to throw out enough personality to keep your audience coming back for more! The goal here is to show the world that your company isn’t composed off a bunch of stiff, corporate employees, but rather relatable, funny, intelligent individuals who are there to help, rather than collect money.

Yes, being funny is hard work! It’s definitely easier to sit back and throw out an extended monologue, but when you engage with your audience and promote company culture, you’ll connect in on a more human level. That little extra something, can make all the difference